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Child Injuries

Injuries to children vary greatly; however, a doctrine covers what is considered an attractive nuisance. An attractive nuisance is something that will entice a child but may injure them, such as a pool, tree house, etc. Under Iowa law, a parent or child may recover the expenses and actual loss resulting from an injury or death of a minor.

Iowa Child Injuries Attorney

At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., our personal injury attorneys know that pursuing a child injury claim can be challenging. If your child has suffered injuries, we can provide you with exceptional legal representation. Our firm carries an experienced legal team with over 37 years of combined experience.

Call (515) 279-9700 to have us evaluate and file a claim for your child today. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represent children who have suffered injuries throughout Polk County, Dallas County, and throughout the state of Iowa.

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Information Center

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Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

The attractive nuisance doctrine applies when someone has something on their property that they should know is attractive and dangerous to children. The property owner’s responsibility is to prevent a child from accessing their property and being endangered. If a child has been harmed by an item on another person’s property, the minor’s parents may have legal recourse if all the following apply:

  • The child is too young to make reasonable choices concerning their own safety.
  • The property owner should have known that they had an attractive nuisance on their property.
  • The property owner failed to make a reasonable effort to protect children who may be able to access the property.
  • The child was injured as a result of the attractive nuisance.

The most common way children are injured is when a property has a pool which was too easily accessible by children, resulting in the child entering the property to go swimming.

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Parental Responsibility For Their Children’s Actions

Additionally, under Iowa law, parents are responsible for the actions of their children. For example, if a child sustains an injury and was injured because their parents were not paying attention, they will be responsible for all of the injuries sustained in the accident.

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Wrongful Death Of A Child

Under Iowa law, if a child passes away due to someone else’s mistake or actions, the parent is entitled to recover expenses and the loss of services, companionship, and society resulting from the death.

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Damages In Child Injury Cases

Economic Damages

Economic damages are generally actual damages that are easily calculated, such as:

  • Hospital bills
  • Loss of income
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Future medical assistance

These damages may include past and future expenses for medical and wages. Lost wages may consist of the children’s parent’s loss of wages because they were required to take time off work because of the injuries sustained. Medical expenses may also include past medical expenses which have been invoiced and those that may be accrued in the future.

Future medical expenses are generally calculated using an expert witness who reviews the plaintiffs’ medical file and testifies to the treatment and medication that will be required in the future as a result of the injury. Additionally, if the injury were severe and would require medical assistance in the future, that would be factored into the economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate because they are subjective in comparison to economic damages. Non-economic damages have more to do with someone’s mental reaction to an incident. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and service. This means that the harm to a parent because of a child’s loss of companionship and service to the parent will be calculated into the non-economic damages category of a damages award.

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Statute Of Limitations Concerning Child Injury Cases

The statute of limitations requires that a lawsuit be filed within a specific amount of time after an incident and varies depending on the claim being brought. For example, in the case of medical malpractice, personal injury, and wrongful death, the statute of limitations is generally two years. This means that if someone has two years after the injury date to bring a lawsuit (i.e., file a complaint in a court of law), it will likely be dismissed or thrown out. However, there are certain circumstances in which an individual has more time to file a lawsuit. For example, suppose the parents could not reasonably determine who was at fault for the injury until three months after the injury was sustained. In that case, the parents will have two years after they discovered who was at fault to file a lawsuit.

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Additional Resources

Iowa Public Health Tracking: This website provides more information concerning injuries in Iowa, including injuries caused by fireworks which are a common way for children to be injured.

The University of Iowa – Injury Prevention Research Center: This website highlights rural children’s injuries and how to prevent them.

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West Des Moines Child Injuries Attorney | Polk County, Iowa

If your child has sustained injuries in West Des Moines, Iowa, contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Our attorneys have an extensive background in personal injury and can represent you through the process. We can build your case against the parties responsible for your injuries.

To schedule your first consultation with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., call (515) 279-9700. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout Polk County and Dallas County including Ankeny, Altoona, Polk City, Perry, Johnston, Pleasant Hill, Windsor Heights, Van Meter, Minburn, Waukee, Redfield and, Adel.

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